EDIT// This post was actually meant to have published months ago, but it didn’t lol so I’m posting it now!
So I’ve been running Moonlit Creatures on Instagram for about a month or so, and although my store hasn’t been around long it’s been super rewarding. I pull in about 100 engaged followers daily and make sales on the regular (although I do expect more in the future). A few friends of mine are thinking of opening their own stores and have contacted me asking for advice or a collaboration, so I’ve decided to put together this article combining my experience in design and marketing in hopes it will help!
First of all — Sourcing your products
Once you’ve decided what you want to sell, have a look online for wholesalers. You can find bulk deals and job lots on eBay, which is what I do half the time when it comes to purchasing the materials for my jewelry. I highly recommend dealing with only one source at a time, making your orders easier to track, saving on shipping and ensuring they all arrive at the same time and you can open shop right away with a bunch of items instead of just like, 3 things.
Location, location, location!
There are several places you can list your items. Personally I prefer a hosting site such as Wix, Tictail, Etsy, etc. You can try eBay or Amazon, but it looks a lot more professional if you have your own store.
Let’s just say you came across this list of Insta shops. Do you feel compelled to click on any of them?
Keep numbers, underscores and full stops to a minimum. I know you’re tempted to use special characters to change up a handle that’s already been taken, but there are a couple issues with that. First off, how is a customer supposed to remember who tf you are when your username has more numbers than you have followers smh. Secondly – Having a ton of special characters in your user kinda looks like you didn’t really try. It looks like you just went with the first thing you could think of and added a bunch of underscores until “username already exists” stops showing up next to the text field. Pls guys. First impressions and whatnot.
This is just me, but I like to play it safe by using the same background and decor because this guarantees a clean, clear cut theme. Compare the two samples below:
Need I say more? Your products may be fucking stellar — but if you don’t showcase them in a good light, they’re not gonna sell. Here are some tips I like to keep in mind when shooting my products (on my phone I might add – you don’t need a fancy camera):
- Use a nice background in your photos. A chopping board makes a beautiful wooden backdrop, or you could purchase some glitter paper for a sparkly finish or even sandpaper and some shells for a beachy theme.
- Daylight. DAYLIGHT. Why? Because fluorescent lighting isn’t exactly flattering b.
- Please use the sAMe GOSH DANG filters on all your pics! Look at the second photo above. Look at the mess of filters. It hurt me to make that collage. I feel like I shouldn’t have to tell you why using the same filter on all your photos is gonna be beneficial to your store.
And here are just a few more tips and tricks!
- Hashtag the FUCK out of your pics. I know it looks kinda try-hard, but you can rope in at least one or two likes per hashtag (if not more) and Instagram allows up to 30. Don’t just use generic tags such as #instagood #potd #love, take the time to type up a list of specific tags and save them on your phone so you can access them every time you post.
- Follow like, SO many people. I know I’m starting to sound sell-outy rn but hey, you can sit there with your 6 followers or you can get your thumb out of your butt and use it to find people who might be interested in your store. Apps like Crowdfire are super helpful in enabling you to both follow similar users AND unfollow the basic bitches who unfollowed you.
- Giveaways and promoter searches can be useful in gaining exposure. However, wait until you have at least 500 or so followers beforehand, otherwise you’ll end up with like 2 entries and o exposure. What you can do, however, is contact someone with a few thousand followers and ask them if they’d like to receive an item from your store in exchange for some shoutouts.
So that’s about it I think! All I have to offer now are my design skillz (email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like a logo or avatar or header or whatever) and also my social influence (I’m surayanna on Instagram so hmu if you want me to promote your stuff!). You can also shoot me a DM at my Moonlit Creatures insta account to purchase super cheap ad slots! I just wanna end with a little disclaimer – You can have a successful store without following my guidelines. It’s probably gonna take a bit longer and be a bit harder, but it’s possible. Hopefully some of you find this article helpful though, so thanks for reading aaaaand you can take 10% off your entire order at Moonlit Creatures when you enter the code CREATURES at checkout (; Did I mention you should put up some discount codes? Put up some discount codes. Give back to the peoples. Later taters!